Hiring and Health Insurance Costs are Top Concerns for Small Businesses

Hiring workers and expenses related to health care are among top concerns that U.S. business owners are expressing to their trusted financial advisors, according to a new survey by Sageworks, a financial information company. The survey by Sageworks found that 44.4 percent of accountants said their business clients expressed concern about hiring employees this year. Another 41.3 percent said their business clients have expressed concern about health-care related expenses.

The survey, conducted from Aug. 25-Sept. 8, asked accountants whether business clients had expressed concern about any of a number of issues. As mentioned, hiring employees and healthcare-related expenses were the most popular responses from more than 300 accountants. Other possible responses included the burden of government regulations (selected by 29.8 percent of respondents), tax compliance complexity (27.1 percent) and the current administration/Congress (22.2 percent). However, 26.1 percent of respondents said that their clients haven’t expressed concern about these issues – about the same percentage as said clients had expressed concern about the economy (26.7 percent).

“Our survey indicates that the number one concern of employers is hiring employees. With a historically low unemployment rate (which is good), it becomes harder for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow since it’s difficult for them to hire and retain good employees in such a competitive environment,” said Sageworks Founder Brian Hamilton.

Further, in the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index release, small business owners said the top challenges facing their business are issues relating to government policies, which include taxes and regulations.
About the Survey
Sageworks conducted the online survey between Aug. 25, 2017 and Sept. 8, 2017 and received 329 responses from accounting professionals at accounting and business advisory firms. The poll’s respondents were all clients of Sageworks and were not randomly selected.